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Top 5 Cyber Phrases You Need to Know

13 September 2017

 

cyber 

 

 

As a parent, have you ever caught a glance of your child's screen and wondered what it was they were saying? If you're a teacher, have you ever caught your students communication through an unfamiliar sequence of letters?

 

 

 

Abbreviations and acronyms are a shortcut to the digital world. While your standard LOL might be harmless, the reality is that in this digital age, many are being used to discreetly hide inappropriate and potentially dangerous behaviour.

 

 

 

When faced with your next glance at a screen, could you decipher slang terms which could be detrimental to a child's safety online?

 

Leading providers of classroom management software, Impero Software breakdown the top five cyber terms that you need to be aware of…

 

 

 

1. LMIRL- Let's Meet in Real Life

 

At first glance, this acronym might not seem to relate to cyberbullying, but can still pose a serious threat to young people. In an age where chat rooms, dating apps and social media put our young people in contact with total strangers, you can never be too sure of the person behind the screen.

 

We hear of an increasing number of cases involving children who have agreed to meet up with a person online, who then turn out to be much older than expected, or even school bullies playing a cruel joke. If a child receives this term, don't hesitate to pull them aside and investigate the situation immediately.

 

 

 

2. Pro- MIA, Pro-ANA

 

The new MIA isn't "missing in action" that most of us are familiar with. The phrase has taken a more severe term, with pro-ana and pro-mia now leading young people to sites that promote anorexia and bulimia.

 

These sites often act as a refuge for those suffering with eating disorders, and encourage them to exchange tips on binging and purging to spur on each other's weight loss.

 

Coming across this information can potentially onset a disorder, which down the line could lead to serious mental health conditions or possibly death.

 

 

 

3. KMS- Kill Myself

 

This term is a direct red flag of an issue with a nature. Though some kids might use it in gest, a "better safe than sorry" approach should be taken when a young person is seen either sending or receiving this message.

 

 

 

4. 99 - Parents Have Stopped Watching

 

Seeing 99 on a device might not be cause for immediate concern, as sometimes kids just want time away from their parents or teachers. Sometimes young people find it easier to confide in their peers about personal problems. But it might raise an eyebrow over the reasons behind their secrecy.

 

 

 

Once spotted, take extra care in monitoring their behaviour and see if you notice any changes. Are they becoming more secretive? Less attentive and more detached? If you do detect a difference in them, it may be time to have a talk with them about their wellbeing.

 

 

 

5. WTTP- Want to Trade Pictures?

 

Similar to the LIMR abbreviation, in the day and age of sexting and sending explicit photos, this is cause for concern amongst young people, especially those that are underage.

 

 

 

Sexting might be seen as harmless, but children sending nude images of themselves is illegal. A young person found sharing or creating these images can have their actions recorded as a criminal offence by police.

 

 

 

The passing along of these images can also leave young people vulnerable to blackmail, emotional distress and of course cyberbullying. Once a photo has been sent, they have lost all control of where their images could end up.

 

 

 

Confronting a child on an incredibly sensitive topic can be very embarrassing and shameful for them, so ensure you can manage your approach in an open, comforting manner.

 

 

 

Finally...

 

 

 

It is impossible to know and remember every single phrase, acronym and abbreviation used by young people online today. New terms are constantly being invented, and while it's impossible to know every single phrase that's out there, doing your best to keep on top of new phrases and jargon is the best way to save young people from a serious situation.

 

 

 

It also helps create a healthy dialogue of understanding for parents and teachers alike.